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Criminal investigation opened into woman’s death after abortion at Alabama facility

A coalition of pro-life groups is pushing authorities to uncover the truth of what happened to Jane Doe, who died in the hospital after visiting the West Alabama Women's Center in Tuscaloosa.
Fri Sep 4, 2020 - 9:31 am EST
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TUSCALOOSA, Alabama, September 4, 2020 (Operation Rescue) — It has been confirmed that the death of a woman who visited the West Alabama Women’s Center abortion facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on May 7, 2020, is under criminal investigation.

A coalition of pro-life groups, including CEC for Life, Life Legal Defense, Operation Rescue, and other Alabama organizations sought the autopsy report for a woman who reportedly died at Druid City Hospital, soon after leaving the Tuscaloosa abortion facility.

The request was submitted on August 5, 2020, by Dr. Patricia Gensemer for “autopsy reports for any females over 14 years of age and under 40 years of age with a date of death for May 7, 2020 in Tuscaloosa County. Your office confirmed on August 5 that files matching this request are finally available.”

Public Records Request for Autopsy – 8-5-2020 by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

Dr. Gensemer received a written response dated August 27, 2020, from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, which stated in part, “District Attorney Hays Webb has notified the Alabama Department of Forensic Science that this case remains under criminal investigation. . . Consequently, the final reports in this case are not currently public record.”

ADFS Response to Autopsy Report Request 8-27-2020 by Cheryl Sullenger on Scribd

On the day of the woman’s death, pro-life activists outside the West Alabama Women’s Center observed her leaving the abortion facility. She appeared sick and pale, and had to be physically supported as she struggled to walk from the clinic to an awaiting private vehicle, which then reportedly transported her to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Word of the ongoing criminal investigation surprised the pro-life groups watching this case because AL.com reported on August 13, 2020, that an investigation had already been conducted and that the Tuscaloosa Sheriff’s Department “found no basis for criminal charges.”

“While we are anxious to see the autopsy report, the fact that the case is still under criminal investigation is welcome news,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “Someone died, and it is important that her death be fully investigated.”

Fr. Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC For Life, responded, “We are glad to discover that at least one state agency seems to be looking into this woman’s death. Perhaps the Department of Public Health can take a cue from the District Attorney and finally look into whether or not this abortion clinic followed proper protocol in the incident, as well as explain to citizens why a new owner is being allowed a pass on applying for a new license, which their own regulations clearly require.”

“Why are multiple local and State law enforcement and regulatory agencies failing to inform the public about Jane Doe’s death? Surely, they are not covering up the truth, are they?” asked Ellen Hermann, RN, Director of Pro-Life Tuscaloosa.

The West Alabama Women’s Center made headlines in May 2020, when the Yellowhammer Fund purchased it from long-time owner Gloria Gray. The abortion business continued operating on the facility license issued to Gray and has not been inspected since the Yellowhammer Fund took over operations, reportedly on May 7 — the same day the woman who had visited the clinic died. 

The pro-life coalition has additional questions about whether Alabama law was followed in allowing the West Alabama Women’s Center to continue operating under the old facility license, or if a new license application should have been submitted.

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Published with permission from Operation Rescue.


  abortion, alabama, operation rescue, tuscaloosa

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